High points for your next family vacation

Lynn O’Rourke Hayes / Dallas Morning News /

Published Aug 21, 2013 at 05:00AM

In her book “Up: A Mother and Daughter’s Peakbagging Adventure,” writer Patricia Ellis Herr relates the adventures and lessons learned as she and her daughter summited 48 of New Hampshire’s highest peaks.

Your goals might be a little less lofty, but here are some ways you and your family can enjoy peak experiences:

• Bag a Colorado Fourteener. There is no such thing as an easy summit when you climb to 14,000 feet or beyond, but Mount Bierstadt is often suggested as the best peak for first-timers. With an elevation gain of 2,850 feet, the 7-mile round-trip trail is well-maintained and affords stunning views and the chance to see Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep and mountain goats.

• Peak with Southern Yosemite mountain guides. Discover the Ansel Adams Wilderness area, where your family can fish in high mountain lakes, wander through wildflower-strewn meadows and sleep under the stars.

• Ascend Mount Scott, Crater Lake National Park. Put this peak on your list and you’ll hike 2.5 miles, charmed by abundant wildflowers. Those who reach the 8,929-foot summit are rewarded with views of the magnificently blue Crater Lake in the foreground and California’s Mount Shasta and Oregon’s Three Sisters in the distance.

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